Moto G7 Power review
The Moto G7 Power is an affordable mid-range phone that gives up some features in exchange for unbeatable battery life.
- Amazing battery life
- Stock Android
- Solid performance
- Low-resolution display
- Budget look and feel
Performance and battery life
For 2019, Moto switched the entire G7 lineup to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 600-series chips — 636 for the G7 Plus and 632 for the rest, mated with varying amounts of RAM and storage. The bump in performance vs. last year’s Snapdragon 450 is noticeable, and my G7 Power review unit felt snappy no matter what I threw at it, even with just 3GB of RAM. Basically, you’ll be fine as long as you don’t play the latest games at max settings. As for built-in storage, 32GB fills up quickly, but there’s support for microSD cards up to 512GB, making this less of an issue.
While performance is good, battery life is what really sets the G7 Power apart. How does 12+ hours of screen-on time sound? What about 3 days between charges? Yeah, that’s both amazing and liberating. It’s what happens when you combine a massive 5000mAh cell with a power-efficient 720p display and mid-range SoC. And with a 15W TurboPower fast charger in the box, filling back up is a breeze.
My only real beef with the G7 Power is the lack of NFC. I write this every year, every time I review a G-Series phone — I definitely sound like a broken record at this point. So what gives, Moto? Google Pay is a thing, people use it and want it, and NFC cost peanuts. Come on!
As is usually the case with Moto handsets, the G7 Plus runs an almost stock build of Android 9 (Pie). There’s nothing to complain about here — it’s a delightful user experience devoid of any crud (skins, customizations, or unwanted apps). It’s quick and lightweight, with a sprinkling of helpful features to make life even better. This includes face unlock, which works fine when there’s enough light, but isn’t as secure as fingerprint unlock.
Moto Display wakes up the screen for incoming notifications or when you nudge the phone. It also keeps the display on as long as you’re looking at it. Moto Actions lets you chop down twice to activate the flashlight, or swipe down from the center to the bottom left or right corner to shrink the screen for one-handed use — among other things. There’s also a handy screenshot editor that auto-scrolls content if necessary. Great stuff.
Moto G7 Power vs. Moto G7
So what’s really different between the G7 Power and the standard G7? Moto sent us both devices to review, so here’s a quick cheat sheet:
- G7 is more expensive ($300 vs. $250)
- G7 is slightly thinner and lighter
- G7 has nicer materials (glass vs. plastic back)
- G7 has a smaller battery (3000mAh vs. 5000mAh)
- G7 has a better display (1080p w/ teardrop notch vs. 720p w/ regular notch)
- G7 has a better rear camera (12MP f/1.8 + 5MP depth sensor vs. 12MP f/2.0)
- G7 has more RAM and storage (4GB RAM vs. 3GB, 64GB of storage vs. 32GB)
- G7 has a better, separate mono speaker
- G7 has a less powerful headphone amp
- G7 has more software features (like wave to wake, Moto Voice, and Dolby Audio)
Price and competition
The G7 Power sells unlocked for $250, directly from Moto, but is also available from Best Buy and Amazon. Better yet, the dual-SIM international version (without support for Verizon or Sprint, but with 4GB or RAM and 64GB of storage) costs just $220 on Amazon. That’s a pretty good deal. Alternatively, consider the rest of the G-series range — the basic G7 Play, regular G7, and premium G7 Plus.
Beyond that, competition is scarce. In the US, nothing can really touch the G7 Power, especially when it comes to battery life. The $229 Nuu G3+ comes close, but lacks a headphone jack. If you don’t mind giving up some stamina and want to save money ($200 or less), there’s last year’s Moto G6 or the Nokia 6.1. If you don’t need compatibility with US bands and can handle skinned Android, consider the Huawei P20 Lite and Honor 8X. If you can spend a little more ($300 or more) and want better specs, there’s Xiaomi’s Pocophone F1 and the Nokia 7.1.
Putting it all together, it’s clear the Moto G7 Power represents the best value in this year’s Moto G-series lineup. If you can get over the pedestrian design, 720p screen, and lack of NFC, it offers incredible battery life, a decent camera, solid performance, and a great user experience — all in a very affordable package. The G7 Power is perfect for those who need superior battery life, have a limited budget, or want an unlocked phone that works on any US carrier. It’s a unique handset that punches way above its weight. And that’s just great.